Monday, January 7, 2013

Bonus Miles

Well, you were going to find out sooner or later, dear reader, so I may as well spill it.  I wrecked my car.  It was a dark and stormy night.  It was a wet and curvy off-ramp.  It was a game of ping pong, or maybe pinball, and I lost.

Correction: I didn't really lose because I didn't hurt anyone and didn't get hurt myself, except for a stiff neck that my car insurance is now paying to get cracked and massaged.  Since the day after Thanksgiving, your favorite blogger (that's me, right?!) has been living the car-free lifestyle.  Again. 

I proudly lived car-free for five years in Chicago, a decade in San Francisco, a year or so in Eugene, and three in Portland.  I finally caved in to the pressure to get a car when my lower back gave out and biking and busing were no longer options.  But, here I am again.  Hopefully, I'm way less self-righteous about it this time around.

Calling it the car-free lifestyle is misleading.  It's also the chauffeur lifestyle because I get rides from friends to out of town destinations and even the grocery store sometimes.  The nice people at Amazon have agreed to drive all the heavy items I need right to my front door.  I've even bartered firewood for a ride to the sewing machine repair store.

I plan to forge ahead, fordless, or chevyless in this case, and just deal.  Being deliberate about rest is a good practice, so I'm commuting by bus one day a week.  My commute is twenty miles round trip so one day off helps free up some leg power for higher mileage weekends, because, after all, bicycling is my hobby too.


  1. “one day off helps free up some leg power for higher mileage weekends”

    Alternatively, if you do it every day it just becomes part of the background noise of living; a 35-45 minute ride in to work would be enough to wake me up, and returning unwinds me (the last job I had was in downtown Portland -- maybe 4 miles from my house as the crow flies -- and every day I'd loop around the Springwater Trail to bring it up to about 8 miles, and on the way back I'd ride Division out to 110th, then drop down to the Springwater for my return home to the tune of about 18 miles.

    It made a nice baseline for breveting around, and let me jump on at least one 400k with basically no preparation outside of telling people on Friday that I was planning to do it on Saturday :-)

    1. Hey, thanks for reading.

      I hear ya on having a nice high baseline. I don't train for brevets, I just ride 'em!

      My round trip commute is 20 miles. I often add 10 or 20 more onto that per day. Add in 100-175 mile weekends and taking a day off the bike actually improves my fitness. My body needs rest!

  2. Hey Kitty;

    First off thank goodness you are ok, hope your neck gets better quickly.

    Have you considered a BOB (beast of burden) trailer? I was carfree for a while in B'ham. I found BOB very handy for grocery runs. On the flat/downhill I don't even notice it's on the bike. I bought the dry bag for it and I think I'll take it into the Gorge this Memorial Day.

    You could even borrow Tex's and see if you like it? I basically stole mine for $65 from a aging elk hunter, so I didn't have to pay the $300 full price. I joke that it's my post apocalyptic Plan B.

    I agree with you about the rest day also. From high school swim team, running, triathlon and now bicycling the concept of tapering training down to a big event has been key to my athletic philosophy. Rest is vital. I want to be like a coiled spring ready to explode on the day of the big event. I can always tell if I'm over training because I get irritable (more than normal that is) and I get a dull headache and I know it's day off (even two days) time. Nothing wrong with a day off.